Trojan Track 2nd at Indoor Nationals
Coach Ortiz Named NJCAA Men’s National Coach of the Year
The Colby Community College Men’s Track and Field Team continued an historic season by finishing in a tie for second place at the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Indoor Track & Field Championships in New York March 7-8.
The Trojans began by winning the first event of the competition—the Men’s Distance Medley Relay. The relay team of Robert Monticone, Dontrell Lyons, Josh Quiroga and Mike Kinuthia topped the field setting a new school record with a time of 10:04.05.
“We have been second in the event for the past two years,” said Ortiz. “Winning this event set the tone for the weekend.”
|Fabian Hayles cruises to a victory in the|
Men’s 4x800 meter relay. (NJCAA Courtesy Photo)
The Men’s 4 x 800 Meter Relay also captured a national title for CCC. Kinuthia, Monticone, Quiroga and Fabian Hayles set a new school record while winning with a time of 7:45.84.
Sophomore Ashley Riley was the lone individual national champion for the Trojans as he captured the Men’s 600-meter dash in 1:18.67. Teammate Fabian Hayles earned All-American honors and was third in the event in 1:19.73, just missing Rashard Clark of Western Texas College who finished second in 1:19.72.
The Trojans finished with 11 All-American performances in the competition. Kinuthia ran 1:52.79 in the men’s 800-Meter Run and Desmond Major compiled 4596 points in the Heptathlon as both set new school records and finished third in their respective events. Raheem Brown earned his honors in the men’s 60-Meter and 200-Meter Dashes. His time of 21.51 set a new school record. Freshman Chris Speaks earned his honors by running personal bests of 15:13.68 and 8:42.88 to finish fourth and sixth in the 5000 and 3000 meter runs.
Omar Trevino scored in the men’s 5000-Meter Run with an eighth place finish. Lyons set a new school record of 48.85 in the men’s 400-Meter Run which was good for 10thplace. Gennard Paul placed ninth in the men’s Long and Triple Jump.
The competition concluded with the men’s 4 x 400 Meter Relay of Lyons, Riley, Hayles and Keenan Williams earning All-American honors with a fifth-place finish and a new school record time of 3:14.43.
“With the support of the College and the community we were able to travel 12 of our 19 national qualifiers,” said Ortiz. “I think any other school in the country would have been discouraged by leaving teammates behind and traveling with such a small squad. Not these guys. They were motivated to bring back some hardware for their teammates and the college.”
Colby Community College scored 71 points which was good enough to tie with Coffeyville Community College. Two weeks ago Coffeyville finished behind the Trojans as the Region VI Runner-Ups. Iowa Central won the competition with 143 points.
“It’s a great time to be a Trojan,” said Ortiz.
“Coach Ortiz and his team had a tremendous season and finish,” said Athletic Director Ryan Sturdy. “They did an outstanding job considering that they left several members of the team who had qualified for Nationals at home.”
Colby Community College is coming off their best Region finish to date after winning the school’s first-ever Region VI Indoor Track & Field Championship two weeks ago. They also improved on the college’s previous best national finish of 10th which was accomplished last season.
The Trojan men will wait three weeks before beginning the outdoor campaign at Fort Hays State University.